A woman's stroke led to paralysis of the left hemisphere of the brain, which made her disabled. She lived with this condition for several years.
During their recent study, scientists conducted a detailed medical examination of the remains of an Egyptian mummy and made an amazing discovery, writes Ancient Origins.
A team of researchers have found compelling evidence that the mummy suffered a brain injury and a stroke at some point in her life.
“Her stroke left her left brain paralyzed and she lived with the condition for several years . This type of traumatic brain injury is well known to modern doctors,” the experts said.
The main feature of this discovery is that no clear evidence of stroke-related damage has previously been found in any other ancient skeleton from Egypt or elsewhere.
The person who suffered this unpleasant fate was a woman between the ages of 25 and 40, who lived in ancient Egypt about 2,700 years ago. Her mummified remains were discovered by archaeologists in Dra Abu el-Naga, an ancient Egyptian necropolis located in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile.
To get more information about the structure of the bones and other characteristics of the skeleton, scientists studied the remains using X-rays. But it was the direct physical examination of the mummy that led to the new discovery.
“A woman suffered a stroke in her youth. This left her partially disabled, but the care of family and friends helped her live for several more years,” added scientist Salima Ikram of the American University in Cairo.
Experts came to their conclusions by studying in detail the distortions of the skeleton. The woman's shoulders were tense, her head turned down, her right arm extended along her body, her left arm bent at the elbow, and her legs, although straight and placed together, had a slight turn of the left foot.
“All these characteristics of the skeleton made it clear to us that the woman had experienced a stroke, “the Egyptologists concluded.
While the mummification process was going on, the embalmers tried to correct the distorted position of the woman's head and chest. They did this by placing a pair of sticks behind her back, which turned her posture into a more upright position. Another crutch-shaped wooden stick was also placed next to her body, presumably because she needed a crutch to walk after her stroke-related injuries.
The discovery of the sticks in the woman's tomb is of particular significance, as this the find may cause archaeologists and Egyptologists to re-evaluate similar artifacts found in other regional excavations over the years.